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Customer Service Training – Effective Complaint Resolution

At Pathways Training & eLearning we develop several programs, both for eLearning and instructor led training, that provide the learner coaching tips on how to manage difficult situations in the workplace. Along this vein, a new program we will be offering shortly and is currently in development, looks at complaint management. Specifically, what our customers generally complain about (how these issues arise) and how the customer care teams should not only address the issue, but also look at how to avoid these situations from arising all together. This training course is one we are very excited about at Pathways Training & eLearning as we will offer it both though instructor led training (ILT) and eLearning.

As part of the development for this training I sat down with a customer experience manager and discussed what was triggering most of the customer complaints that were received. When we were finished our review, I thought this topic would make an interesting discussion for our blog forum….so here you go.

To start the discussion, lets look at the “Why” of customer complaints, and next week I will review some strategies for how to manage these issues, and how training can help to ensure an organization has happy customers.

According to a report provided by, 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from companies who leave complaints unanswered. The other side of that statistic is that does not include customers who simply leave a brand without voicing their concerns when they have had a poor experience.

Here are the 8 most common reasons why customers complain. For the purpose of this example, we have used the example of complaints for a luxuray automative brand, but these are complaints, that also typically apply to other industries also.

1. Broken Promises. Example: A customer was told they would be provided a loaner car each time they brought their car in for service.

2. Poor Customer Experience. Example: Waiting for an excessive amount of time, lack of information provided, misunderstanding of a specific process.

3. Multiple call transfers, inability to identify the correct person who can resolve the customer’s issue. Example: A customer contacts their local dealership with a question about their warranty, and is transferred multiple times and left on hold

4. Rude, disrespectful behaviour by employees.

5. Confusing Help & Contact process, Inaccessibility. When a customer is seeking assistance, it can be frustrating when there is a lack of contact information or unanswered emails and not returned calls. Example, customer has a question regarding a lease that is due to expire, however is having difficulty locating the proper contact department.

6. Not Listening to Customers. Not listening to a customer is one of the biggest mistakes we can make. Use brief queues to let the customer know you are listening (I see, I understand, go on…) To ensure you understood what the customer is saying, clarify and paraphrase

7. Product quality does not meet expectations. Example: Customers expect a luxury experience when purchasing from a luxury brand, so when the product does not meet their expectations or there is a product failure, this can be a frustrating experience.

8. Unresolved Issues. For example, a customer has contacted a vendor regarding a problem with their product or service that continues to persist with no resolution or follow-up from the vendor.

Next week I will continue this discussion and provide a summary of how organisations can address these scenarios and strategies for avoiding them all together through enhanced customer service training and practice. If you’re interested in learning more about eLearning modules or ILT programs on customer service for your organization, contact us at or at 1-888-961-6011.

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